Label P LB J20

Summer fair: Simon Balle All-through School

Simon Balle All-through School, Hertford, Hertfordshire, 1037 pupils

Penny Lafferty, committee member
Saturday 15 July, 1-4pm
Around 500 attendees


  • Did you have a theme? We named our fair 'Slice of Summer' and used a watermelon theme on our banners, posters and flyers
  • Who made up your organising team? Our organising team was made up of PSA committee members and a number of mums who make up our 'Primary Sub-group', which focuses on events for the primary phase, as well as our Primary Phase Leader
  • Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before? This Slice of Summer was our first summer fair, but we organised our first Frost Fair the December before
  • Did you run a raffle? No, we save our raffle for our December Frost Fair, as we didn't want the two events to be too similar
  • Did you have a programme? No, but during the fair announcements were made over a microphone
  • How much did you charge for entry? We charged £1 per adult and children entered for free


  • Did you secure sponsorship? We offer external stallholders the opportunity to pay a little extra for their business details to be included in our flyers, posters and social media. This mostly covers our printing costs. We didn't have a sponsor last year but have already secured sponsorship for our next fair from a local letting agent - for each house that agrees to have a board up, the agent will pay us £10.
  • Do you have any advice for others seeking sponsorship? Approach school families about sponsoring your events via your newsletter. You may be surprised to find which companies have direct links to your school. Our next fair sponsor's daughters are ex-students of our school, so it's a cause very close to her heart. Ask your families if anybody can help with match funding too.
  • Did you allow outside stallholders? We had around eight external stallholders exhibiting at last year's fair. We booked external stallholders and attractions early, collecting payment as soon as possible to confirm the booking. We added a payment deadline on our booking for advertising that the pitch would be offered to another stallholder if payment hadn't been received by a certain date. We offered priority booking to stallholders who could supply their own table, as this saved us having to carry numerous tables from one part of the school to another. By organising early, we were able to secure some quality external attractions, including pony rides, under 5s soft play and a double decker playbus. We also booked a candyfloss seller and ice cream van, which was a great way to test popularity before investing in equipment to do it ourselves.
  • How much did you charge stallholders? £15 with a raffle donation or £20 with no donation. To advertise their business, we offer a £5 charge. We negotiated with each business to work out something we were both happy with, e.g. we received a percentage of the takings from the ice cream van and soft play, whereas the pony ride supplier paid us a pre-agreed rate
  • How did you get people to volunteer? We made volunteer requests through out digital PSA newsletter and our PSA website. We produced a signup sheet with time slots running down the first column and areas where help was needed along the top row. Families were invited to signup six weeks before the event.
  • Did teachers/pupils run any stalls? We invited students from the secondary phase to plug gaps on games stalls. Several of our teachers ran the licensed bar in shifts, and two governors manned the barbecue. Our staff are really hands on
  • How did you draw up your roster? The signup sheet clearly displayed how many people were needed in each area, e.g. four people per hour to cover the bar, two per hour on the games stalls We advised that people signing up should only book two consecutive slots if they were staying in the same area so no-one was waiting to be relieved. This meant that the roster worked itself out as people signed up, and we only had to do a little shuffling to make it work. When we allocated jobs, we made sure there was consistency with the people involved so that at least one person saw the job through from start to finish.
  • How did you thank your volunteers? We try to thank as many helpers as we can in person and put a note in the school newsletter. I recently suggested that each helper is given a ticket that is entered into a draw to win a prize, which was well received and may be put into action this year


List of PTA stalls and prices:


50p or 3 goes for £1

Splat the rat.............................................

50p or 3 goes for £1

Teddy tombola.........................................

50p or 3 goes for £1

Cake stall ...............................................




Pimm's and Prosecco bar.......................

£3.50 for first glass, £3 for refill


  • Anything else? We also invited children to build a LEGO masterpiece of their choice. All creations were on display during the fair, and visitors could vote for their favourite design by dropping a coin into the cup next to the build. The cup holding the highest total won £30-worth of LEGO - it was a fun and popular attraction.
  • How do you source resources for your stalls? We gather donations for our bottle tombola through a non-school uniform day, collecting anything from shampoo to champagne! We also put out a plea to our families asking for unwanted items such as soft toys for our teddy tombola stall. One family kindly donated boxes of DVDs which we will use to run a DVD tombola at our next event.
  • How do you ensure the smooth running of your fair? We had a welcome desk which manned at all times during the fair. During the event we ensured that organisers weren't tied to an area, which meant they were free to deal with any problems. We displayed the signup sheet in a prominent position so helps could check where they were stationed
  • Stalls you wouldn't run again and why? All of our stalls were successful. The only change is that the hook-a-duck will be replaced with a proper games kit as the ducks were incorrectly weighted and kept floating around the pool bottom up!
  • Do you hire any equipment for your summer fair? As this was our first fair, and we're a new school, we're in the process of building up equipment. We wanted to see if it would be worth investing in a barbecue, so borrowed two from parents to save money. They were constantly in use, so we've decided to purchase one
  • How do you organise money before and during your event?  We keep floats in wearable moneybags made by one of our talent parents. 


  • How did you promote your fair? We reached families via the digital newsletter. We set up an event on social media and updated this regularly, as well as our website, and put posters around the school.


  • What was your target? As this was our first fair, we didn't set a target
  • How much profit did you make? £2416.63
  • What would you do differently? Think more carefully about a contingency plan in case of bad weather. Consider investing in some kits to run craft stalls 'in house' as there's greater potential to make profit. We will also record our takings from each area so we have a detailed breakdown of the fair
  • What is the best advice that you can give? Make sure there's a good mix of attractions at your fair so there's something for every age group. Start organising as early as possible and make sure you have a strong support network to bounce ideas around and share tasks. Have regular meetings and a few key organisers for people to report to


  • How else do you fundraise throughout the year? Disco, pamper night, pop-up ice cream shop, Christmas fair

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